• Erik Johnson, Eric Fairchild, Zach Gould, Reiss Berger and Justin Handley
  • Published: 28 April 2023


The use of third-party vendors in Agile systems was greatly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and these effects continue to shape how work gets done today. Now more than ever businesses need an effectively implemented Agile delivery model that more dynamically and efficiently creates value for the business and its customers.

Barriers to achieving these results in traditional financial and insurance firms – and many other industries – often stem from a misunderstanding of what Agile means. Many firms will adopt an iterative approach, but potentially skip other core Agile ideals such as focus and adaptability. As financial services firms continue broadening the scope of their Agility efforts, involving third parties provides many opportunities for efficient delivery but also regularly exposes many challenges for which many organizations have yet to employ comprehensive solutions and guardrails.

With tailored screening, better contracting, up-front expectation setting, and continuous monitoring from start to finish, product and value delivery can be accomplished much more efficiently. Here are three questions to ask that are essential to a successful Agile implementation with a third-party vendor.

  • How does our vendor engagement model need to evolve to support integrated Agile delivery?
  • How do we assess vendors for their ability to work with us within this construct?
  • How do we continue to deliver small, high-quality increments while responding to customer feedback and new priorities?

Teams and partnerships typically achieve the greatest success when working commonly where possible, differently only where necessary. The following are six criteria to evaluate vendor alignment by exploring what High and Low Agile maturity look like in each context. With new mindsets and collective focus on a common model, success is just a scorecard away.